My Virtual Cat

My cat pillow companions

Seven cats! Right here on the sofa, thanks to my pillow. 

Virtual: Not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so.

The worldwide web is amazing. Who would have thought that strangers could “meet” and become good friends? With the exception of Susan Kaye, I found each of the Jane Started It! writers on-line. And that’s how I probably met you!

So today I will tell you, my virtual friend, about my virtual cat.  And I can see you smirking. I don’t blame you. A virtual pet is kind of in the same class as a Pet Rock (remember those?) or a garden gnome. As in, being for crazy people.

See, I’d love to have a cat, but I am simply too busy. Moreover, living as I do with three men (who do not see or even acknowledge dirt), I do not need one more living creature to clean up after. Plus, cat adoption agencies in this part of Oregon demand that the cat be an indoors-only pet. That hasn’t always worked out so well for us.

Not loud enough? Turn up the volume

See this? It’s a Kindle white noise app.

So instead I have a cat meow on my smartphone. Incoming text message? “Meow!” I chose this sound because I thought it would be unobtrusive.  Wrong! A single meow on the train turns many heads. “Is there a cat in here?” people ask. (I sink down in the seat and put the phone on Airplane Mode.)

And Internet videos allow me to enjoy cat antics. Like the one a friend shared to my Facebook wall recently, showing a cat climbing into the cupboard above the stove. He was like a orange feline spider or something, stretching his long cat body above the range hood to retrieve a bag of cat treats. No athletic cats for me! I want the sleepy, purry, geriatric kind.

Then I downloaded a white noise app for my Kindle. This has my sons rolling their eyes at me. I already talk to myself, and spy on people in public (calling it book research), but now I have purring on my Kindle. That’s right, purring.

It’s a happy sound, purring, like summer rain. For me, it’s been a bedtime stress reducer. And if my “cat” is not purring loudly enough?  I crank up the volume.

Don’t get me wrong, one day I would like to have a real cat–or three. But for now, my virtual cat is company enough. Along with “grandcats” Domino and Onyx. Here’s to Cat Love from afar!

Photo: Ben Lyons

Photo: Ben Lyons

Laura Hile (1)

13 thoughts on “My Virtual Cat

  1. childofaslan

    My heart is sad, as I am convinced you need the real deal! LOL! They’re so beneFICial! Cat therapy is virtually peerless! That said, I’m looking rather longingly at your purring noise app. Hmm… (And I LOLed for real at the cat meow on the train.)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Laura Hile

      In a car, in a bus, on a plane, in a train…
      That cat meow turns heads every time. My students love it. And I meant so well, to avoid a jarring song or electronic beep. C’est la vie.

      You will notice that I haven’t changed it…

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    1. Laura Hile

      You have dogs in your family, I have cats. Or the want-to for a cat. I do enjoy my simple, pet-less life right now. Travel is a snap. If I had funds for travel, which right now I don’t, ha.

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      1. Robin Helm

        I enjoyed my petless life for years. I don’t really enjoy having to care for a pet 24/7. We’ve had Toby for eleven years now. He’s getting old, and I’m afraid that he won’t make it much longer. I’ll miss the little guy. He’s as good as any dog could ever hope to be.

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  2. whitney

    I admire your practical approach to owning a pet. I, on the other hand, am on a spouse imposed pet diet. Your purring white noise and phone meow will be my suggestion the next time one of my children wants to bring home a new addition. That said, I have been known to come home from vacation with new family members of the four legged kind, in pet carriers, on the plane. More than once!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Laura Hile

      I haven’t always been so practical, Whitney. During the elementary years, I homeschooled my oldest two sons. Tell you what, I was an easy mark for pet begging. All in the name of hands-on science, you understand.🙂 Ha, come to think of it, I even blogged about that. The Guilt-Trip Menagerie

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  3. Linzé Brandon

    We never had pets growing up – both my brother and I wanted a dog – but my mother was scared of dogs, so no pets! But my husband LOVES dogs, so it wasn’t difficult to get the first one. Twenty-two years of marriage later, and we are still happily owned by German Shepherds🙂

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  4. Crystal Thieringer

    We have two cats, as you know. Sydney’s purr is inaudible, while Lynxy is asthmatic. Her purr is fine, but she’s been known to worry our guests just because she sounds funny when she’s sleeping. It’s amusing. I can not imagine a life without a real life cat in the house though. I love how you’ve adapted (before you’ve adopted).

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  5. Antonia Malvino

    Dying. I thought I heard a cat on a plane once and now I know what might be the true cause of that noise. As an owner of seven cats, I can honestly say that they are wonderful friends and great studies of how to savor the moment. Similar to what Crystal said, I love how you have adapted before you’ve adopted.

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  6. Pingback: My Virtual Cat – Middlespace

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